23 October 2010

A Slip from an Old Yellow Rose

Image courtesy of VintageHolidayCrafts.com

            Yes’m, it is a mighty pretty rose. We like it just the same as you do. You’d be surprised how many folks passing by will stop to look at it, and some of them come to the door to ask what kind of a rose it is. No’m. We don’t know its name. Nobody ever was able to tell us. So we just call it “the yellow rose.” Yes’m, it’s got the sweetest smell of any rose ever you smelled.
            No’m, the yellow rose was here when we came, and that’s years ago, and you could see that it was an old, old rose even then. The people we bought from, they didn’t build the house but they told us that the rose had always been there. They hadn’t planted it. She said, the woman did, that the yellow rose was one of the main reasons they hated to sell. Yes’m, that’s right; you sort of get attached to a real nice rose like the yellow one. She said, the woman did, that when they got settled again she’d write for a slip, but she never wrote. We naturally suppose that something just happened to her.
            That yellow rose has been there a long while, and the way we know is that one day, soon after we moved here, a young woman came to the door—it was in full bloom, just loaded—and asked if she might pick a few to take with her. She said, the young woman did, that she wanted a bouquet of the yellow roses for when she got married the next day. Yes’m. It turned out that she used to live here when she was a small girl. So she came back for the roses, when she was going to get married. So that makes three families, you see, that’s lived here since the rose was planted. At least three—us, and the folks we bought from, and her, and her folks.
            But my neighbor, and she’s getting old, tells us that she thinks the yellow rose was planted when the house was newly built. She can’t be sure, because nowadays people change flowers often, but she seems to recollect that when she came, and they’d just moved out, the rose was in bloom.
            One time he said to me—that’s my husband—he said, “Let’s dig up that old yellow rose this spring and plant a new red one.”
            I almost dropped a dish. I looked at him. “Why?” I said, very surprised.
            “Red roses are nicer,” he told me. “They got more color.”
            That’s like a man. Yes’m. They’re mostly like that. So I said to him, “The chickens and garden are yours,” I said, “but the flowers around this place are mine.” We never have words. But he knew that I meant it. “Don’t you dare touch that yellow rose,” I told him. No’m, he never has mentioned it again.
            But now, was you to say to him that one time he wanted to dig up the yellow rose, and put in a red one, like as not he would say that he never said any such thing. Yes’m, that’s exactly the way it is with them. But to be perfectly fair, I’ve got to admit that he likes it a lot now. I’ve heard him out in the yard, bragging to strangers, the way it was so many folks praised the yellow rose that pretty soon he got to thinking a good deal of it. Was I to say to him now that one time he wanted to dig up the yellow rose, chances are that he’d say it was me that had wanted to—and he’d believe it. Yes’m, it’s best to keep still, like I do.
            Yes’m, we often give slips, although now is not the best time. Just wait until I get the snippers. If you keep it real wet, and in sand, it’s sure to make roots. I always say it’s a blessing that roses root easy. There. If none of these root, maybe you can come back for some more. It’s a pleasure. Oh, no’m. We wouldn’t think of taking anything for a slip from the old yellow rose. Ain’t folks neighbors, no matter where they live? It does us good to think that somewhere else there’s a yellow rose just like this one, and grown from one of its slips.
            I remember one time, years ago it was, before we came here, the two of us stopped at a house at the edge of town. You see there was a fine climber over their porch, and when the woman came to the door he told her how much we liked her roses. “Yes?” she says and “Well?” so he up and asked her for a slip from it, and she studied him for a minute and then went and got her nippers, and cut off just one tiny twig! Out of all that great rose bush, all over her porch, just one tiny twig, mind you! Neither of us needed a lesson, but if we had of, that would have been it. What are roses for, if they aren’t for sharing?
              ---Author Unknown


  1. Good point...roses are for sharing.

  2. Missuz C,

    I enjoyed reading this story. In fact, I thought it was a story that happened personally to you until I got to the bottom where it stated, "Author Unknown."

    At any rate, on my blog, you posted a comment and wanted to know if you could use my last poetry entry for your daughter's homeschooling project. I don't mind a bit. As roses are made for sharing, so are my poetry entries. :)

    Blessings to you and your family,

    -Lady Rose

  3. Roses ARE for sharing...and stories. :D

    I wish I could write as well as the authors of these many and varied stories...but I'm just happy to be able to pass their work along.

    Thank you for your gift of poetry, Lady Rose. It is a blessing!